Posture And Your Health
All around us, we are surrounded by technology and a variety of electronic devices. From laptops to tablets to cell phones. Everywhere you look there is always at least one person who is looking down at their device. This is not to decry the evils of technology.
However, it is our posture while using these devices that is often less than ideal:
- looking down
- shoulders slumped forward
- sticking our heads too far forward and out
these are the positions that we often find ourselves in.
It is because of this turtle neck posture, where your head and neck are too far out in front of your body as you look down at your devices, that you start to develop neck and shoulder problems and sometimes headaches as well.
Instead, the ideal position would be to keep your head centred over your shoulders. Much like doing a chin tuck while keeping your gaze straight ahead. If you were to look at yourself from the side, you would want to see the middle of your ears positioned directly above the midpoint of your shoulders.
Sitting Is The New Smoking
Yes, last time we checked, smoking is still bad for you. Not surprisingly too, poor posture is bad for you as well. Poor posture can result in the small muscles and joints in your neck, shoulders and back working harder and being strained more than they were designed to handle over time.
Sitting puts more strain on your back and especially your lower discs than standing or walking. The position that puts the least amount of stress on your discs is laying flat on your back.
Stress from driving
If you add any sort of constant vibration to the equation such as from driving a bus or truck for hours and hours, this will only magnify the stress and tension already building in your lower back. This is why those who spend long periods driving for work, such as parcel couriers and police officers, often have lower back problems.
While certainly not as exciting as say slipping on the sidewalk, poor posture can also lead to small repetitive strain injuries that accumulate over time. As a result, this repetitive strain can lead to a build up of tension in your joints, muscles and other soft tissues.
The Best Posture Is Your Next Posture
So really, what is the best posture to have? If you only remember one thing from this blog article, remember this – try to change your posture periodically. Even something as small as shifting your body weight or repositioning yourself every once in awhile can have an important role in helping you feel and be better over time.
Not only is movement good for posture, it can also help if you having pain or soreness. For many injuries, even simply gentle movements can provide relief and help you improve your symptoms. Keep your movements slow, steady and controlled. Avoid jerky or sudden movements especially if they starting flaring your pain and discomfort
Want To Improve Your Posture?
Poor posture is something that tends to creep up on you and develop over time. It is not something that happens overnight, but rather over a period of months to even years. If you are trying to improve your posture or are having discomfort due to poor posture, schedule a time to visit your chiropractor.
Your chiro can assess your posture and provide tips and suggestions on how to improve it. They can also help you with any symptoms you may be dealing with because of posture through a combination of treatment, exercise rehab and advice
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can my chiropractor help me with my posture?
A: Your chiropractor can certainly help you with your posture. They will ask you about what symptoms and discomfort you are feeling. They may gather information on how your work space is arranged. Next, they may work through an examination including assessing your posture, looking at your muscles as well as how well your spine and joints are moving.
When complete, your chiropractor will review their findings with you and recommend a treatment plan. To help with posture, your treatment will likely include exercises to stretch areas that have tightened up and re-build strength in areas that have become weaker. You may also receive treatment to help restore joints and areas in your spine that have stiffened up and lose some of their normal mobility.
To help prevent poor posture from creeping back, your chiropractor will discuss suggestions on topics such as ergonomics and postural tips
Q: What are some symptoms related to forward head posture?
A: Having forward head posture where your chin and head stick forward relative to the rest of your body is also called “turtle neck”. This posture over time can lead to a number of different symptoms and problems. Neck pain, shoulder tension and upper back stiffness are common. Eye strain, headache and even fatigue are reported by other patients.
If your symptoms progressively worsen, over time you may notice that you are not able to tolerate working at your desk as long anymore before discomfort starts to set it. You may become more anxious and apprehensive about desktop knowing that it will only lead to symptoms.
Q: How do I fix my posture?
A: There are many things you can do to improve your posture. Poor posture will likely lead to certain muscles becoming shorter and more tense. In addition, the opposite muscles will likely get weaker over time. Stretching those tight, tense muscles and strengthening the weaker ones will help with your posture.
In terms of prevention, having the proper work set up is key. Having your computer or tools at the right position will help with posture. For example, Placing your keyboard and mouse close enough so you do not have to reach out to get to them is a good start. Having your monitor directly in front of you will be much better than having it off to either side. Using a good, supportive chair can make sitting at your desk for long periods much more tolerable
Results will of course vary from person to person